Prescription Delivery: Part 1 of 2
Establishing a prescription delivery service for your pharmacy is no small task. You have to purchase a car, possibly hire a delivery technician and determine how you’re going to collect signatures, take payment, advertise your delivery service and figure out a delivery route. Furthermore, you must find people who want to have prescriptions delivered.
The work, time spent, and possibility of investing hard-earned money into a service that may not return revenue into the business can be a deterrent for some independent pharmacy owners. What if you start delivering prescriptions, but it turns out that none of your customers use the service? What if another pharmacy in the area already offers a prescription delivery service?
A good way to alleviate the apprehension of investing in something risky is to educate yourself. Research your community and the surrounding area to see if they would benefit from a prescription delivery service. If your research shows that they would utilize the service and you advertise your new service in the right way, you will most likely bring in new patients and increase your pharmacy’s revenue. Who knows, you might even find a community that’s in need of a pharmacy!
Here are 4 things to look at when determining if your community could benefit from a prescription delivery service.
This may be tough to research, but start with those that come into your pharmacy to pick up prescriptions for others who are unable to come themselves (an elderly man for his wife, a woman for her parents, etc.). Ask them if it would be beneficial to them, if you were to provide a service that would deliver medications. Also, offering delivery on OTC items could make your delivery service more attractive to homebound patients.
Are there rural areas around that have no pharmacy to service them? Are there customers that are taking long road trips to connect with a big box retailer for their pharmacy services? These would be good candidates for a prescription delivery service, and you could make them aware of your service by sending out mailers, starting a referral program, or community event sponsorship.
Check if any other pharmacies in the area offer a delivery service. If your only competition are big box retailers, you are in the clear, and offering a prescription delivery service could give you a competitive advantage. Being the only pharmacy in the area that delivers also comes with the perk of being referred by other pharmacies that don't.
Do you have patients that struggle with adherence, not necessarily because they aren’t able to leave the house but because they don’t remember or make time to pick up their prescriptions. These are good candidates for a delivery service. With prescriptions being delivered to them it’s one less reason they have not to stick to their medication regimen.
It’s possible that your pharmacy business may not benefit from a prescription delivery service, so it’s best to check your community before making the investment. Using the research areas above, you can evaluate your community to ensure that a prescription delivery service will be utilized and bring more people into your pharmacy.
Is prescription delivery something that you plan to offer your customers? If so, be on the lookout for next week’s blog, part two of our prescription delivery series, where we’ll share some efficient ways to manage a prescription delivery service.